34 A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
early morning light, lifting its truncated apex to the sky, the world's largest building, the world's insoluble stone riddle, the world's first wonder to the Greeks as to us, that enigma of the ancients which continues to puzzle the moderns, the fit friend of the Sphinx.
The Great Pyramid!
Both, built in Atlantean times, stand as distinctive marks of the mysterious continent, and remain as mute legacies from a race of people who have departed as mysteriously as their own land.
Both remind the successors of the Atlanteans of the glories of that lost civilization.
And then, both sun and Sphinx met again and renewed a gloxious tryst kept daily for uncounted years. The sky went quickly through all those changes which follow dawn in Egypt; the horizon turned from pink to heliotrope, from heliotrope to violet, from violet to red, before it assumed that cloudless intense whitish-blue colour which is Egypt's perpetual canopy. I know now that the Sphinx, as the desert Watcher, was an emblem of the Sacred Four, the Silent Watchers of this World, the Four Gods who carry out the commands of Deity, the mysterious Guardians of Mankind and its destiny. The men who cut the Sphinx's figure knew of these lofty Beings but we, poor moderns, have forgotten them utterly.
A little tired of my long night vigil, I prepared to bid farewell to this titan's head raised above the sand. Its self-possession, its air of masterful composure, its radiation of spiritual repose, had somehow reacted upon me, and produced a subtle world-detached mood for which I could hardly find words. The Sphinx, so old that it had watched the childhood of the world, plunged in unbroken contemplation, had seen civilizations rise to glory and then slowly droop like withered flowers, had watched shouting invaders pass and repass, come and depart, come and stay. And yet it stood its ground, so utterly calm, so utterly removed from all human emotions. Something of that stony indifference to the mutations of fate seemed to have crept under my skin during the night's darkness. The Sphinx relieves one of all worry about the future, all burdens of the heart; and it turns the past into a cinema film, which one may watch in detachment, impersonally.